Hasan Özgür Top, "The Raqqah Sign", 2016, Photomontage, 29x16cm

Terror, War, Un-War…

Zeynep and Marina
April 14, 2017

(Please consider that each time we mention the words “terror” “terrorist” “terrorist groups” we keep on discussing the terms and their contexts.)

« Fission of Saleem; I am the bomb in Bombay watch me explode, bones splitting breaking beneath the awful pressure of the crowd, bag of bones falling down and down… Only a broken creature spilling pieces into the street, because I have been too-many persons. Life unlike syntax allows one more than three, and at last somewhere the striking of a clock, twelwe chimes, release… »
Salman Rushdie in Midnight’s Children (London: Picador, 1982), p.533

“The world’s media, busily searching for historical precedents after 9/11, did not spare a thought for that day in Bombay”
Homi Bhabha in The Location of Culture

They say that the world’s gone mad and it’s wilder then all times, that for the first time in the world, people are that gloomy, desperate…
We agree on being in a time of chaos.
But it’s necessary to think about, to define several terms:
Who is the “people” and
What do we mean by the “world”?
In Leipzig we talked about “terror”. We tried to go deeper in the meaning and the context of terror, terrorist and terrorism. We know that many groups claimed to be “terrorist” in some countries, such as PKK or HAMAS, are not conceived as “terrorists”in others.
Then, another question mark: How do we recognize the “terrorist”?
In Turkey the academics who signed a peace petition in January 2016 have been jailed by court on suspicion of “making terrorist propaganda.” Ulrike Meinhof was so called RAF terrorist. The revolutioners on Maidan in Kiev, 2014 ; in Gezi in İstanbul, 2013 ; in Tunisia, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Egypte, 2011, were they terrorists for real?

Above, here is a work by Şifa Girinci, called “Terrorism, a global problem?” that she created on 2014. In
her work, using the data of Global Terrorism Index 2014, she makes the graphics of dead people caused by terror, all round the world. The results are astonishing. Over 80% of the lives lost to terrorist activity in 2013 occurred only in five countries.
We did a brief research on what is going on today and found out that it was written in the Global Terrorism Index 2016 that “23 countries recorded their highest number of deaths from terrorism in 2015.
This is six more than the previous hight of 17 countries in 2014.”
How come that the terror attacks spread across many different locations in so little time?
In Kiev, we did a workshop on the concept “Un-War” discussed by Krzyzstof Wodiczko, and after this workshop we presented our ongoing discussion to the “Inside Europe” team. Just a little reminder of what does it mean Un-war by the words of Ivor Davies from I-team:
“We adopted the word, discussed by Krzyzstof Wodiczko, ‘Un-war’.
In this construct:
the prefix ‘Un’- implies to redefine, reimagine, reconstruct while ‘War’ (unsurprisingly) means ‘to address conflict via military violence’”
During our presentation, one participant from the audience started to question about “collective responsability”. He said that this issue has been questioned widely, after the Second World War and that feeling responsible of the violence executed by others doesn’t help and it makes everything worst.
Shiran from Tunusia replied that the terror attacks became worldwide because the terrorists probably considers everyone responsible.
This is the artwork of Hasan Özgür Top, Turkish artist working widely on the the way the “terrorist groups” choose to express themselves, especially the case of ISIS . He archives the videos taken by ISIS and analyses them and use his outcomes in his further artistic projects.

Hasan Özgür Top, "From Guantanamo to Ar-Raqqah", 2015, Installation, Digital print on wallpaper, Variable dimension

“The work is produced by connecting two oranges picked by the dropper in the digital realm: one from the color of the uniforms worn by the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and the other from the tshirt of James Foley, an American whose beheading by ISIS in Raqqa, Syria was broadcasted through an online video. A self-proclaimed fundamentalist structure that “wages war against the modern world” and the United States of America, which claims they will bring peace to the world by destroying them, converge in the same color, ironically, become intimate with each other and spread across the surface of the whole world. They do not leave space for another color.”
The terrorism seems to be the use of the violence to citizens, to innocents towards political ends,ideological or religious.
There is also another facet of the terrorism the exercise of a power, an ascendancy which a human being exercises on another sort(species). The processing which we reserve for animals, for plants, for nature with complete impunity it is in our opinion a shape of terrorism of everyday life.
Is it a new fact or the fruit of a collapse of our modern society ?
Does it exist for a long time ?
With regard to the story we can notice that these movements this violence exists for a long time. » The word » terrorism » is attested for the first time in November, 1794, and indicates the » doctrine of the partisans of the Terror « , of those who exercised the power by leading an intense and violent fight against the counter-revolutionaries. (Wikipedia source) « Today, the terrorist facts are more visible because we inquire, because we are informed. Too much, maybe, too badly also.
The manipulation of the images, « the shock of photos » joins in the « weight of the words » and plunges everything into a fear collative.
In 2001, the Twin Towers in New York exploded and since our relation to the world of the
violence changed.
The media coverage of the terrorist violence rises in this event that the whole world watched.
Is the violence an answer ?
How to act without violence?
Because yes, we believe that it is necessary to act by actions and to refuse the bewilderment that engender the violent acts. The answer of our society to the migrants which avoids the war are unacceptable we urges them to drown to be reduced, there also in the silence. The answer of the ill-treatment of the nature to the extinction of numerous sorts(species) is still in the silence.
Let us refuse the silence which is imposed and let us try to react by occupying the space.
Occupy the space of the thought. Occupy the street, let us occupy the street and either then occupying only the screens, the waves and the internet…
To be continued…